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Reserve Speedbag

Published by PLI on

In January of 2003, at the PIA Symposium in Jacksonville, Florida, John Sherman of Jump Shack introduced the S.P.E.E.D. (Sequential Parachute Extraction & Equalization Device) bag as a solution to the possibility of line dump during a reserve deployment.

The Reserve Speedbag from Parachute Labs.

Most freebags produced in the U.S. utilize a single, looped, piece of shock cord bungee to create two locking stows, with the balance of the lines “S” folded into a pouch that is held closed by two pieces of Velcro with a single exit point in the center.

One downside of the bungee stow freebag system is that there is no rigidity between the locking stows. No matter how carefully a rigger packs, the stow will always create uneven tension on the line bights, allowing the possibility of line dump. Also should the locking stow break (and it only needs one break to release both stows) the lines can dump out and the canopy can inflate before line extension creating the possibility of catastrophic failure.

With more people loading their reserves heavily and flying their bodies at greater speeds the potential for this situation is greatly enhanced.

Sherman devised a bag, where every stow is a locking stow, and the lines are held in place by rubber bands (bands conforming to mil. Spec. R-1832 are recommended). Furthermore the stows are placed on the bag so that the mass of the lines is evenly balanced, offering a greater opportunity for even deployment. When stowed correctly, 50% of the mass of each line stow is between each pair of stows with 25% of the mass on the left outside and 25% on the right outside.

Quite simply the speedbag has two closing flaps that overlap. The first flap to cover the canopy has two rows of rubber bands while the second, overlapping, flap has soft grommets sewn into it. The rubber bands secure the lines in a balanced and orderly fashion, and should any band break during the deployment sequence, the lines cannot dump out as the next stow in sequence regains control of the deployment.

The absence of metal grommets avoids the possibility of any reaction with, or abrasion against, the rubber, and the ordered and controlled line deployment offers the potential for a safer reserve deployment.

The Speedbag was throughly tested as both a main and a reserve deployment bag and, while the main bag is an available option, the reserve version is now supplied as standard with all Racer models. JumpShack also recommends that owners of older systems upgrade to the speedbag.

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